Linguistic and cultural diversity in teaching material in the Nordic countries

Sproglig og kulturel mangfoldighed i læremidler til sprogundervisning i Norden is a project led by Þórhildur Oddsdóttir, adjunct lecturer in the Danish department at the University of Iceland. The project group was created in 2018 and the University of Iceland applied for funding from Nordplus Nordic Languages, in cooperation with Tungumálaver, a language centre for elementary schools in Reykjavík, Aarhus University, The University of the Faroe Islands and the University of Turku.

On a sunny Monday afternoon in May, the project group invited us, from the Nordplus administration, to listen to the findings and results of the ongoing project at Laugarvatn in the Southern part of Iceland, where the project group had organised a working meeting. They presented the status of the project and their findings so far, inspiring great work and conversations on the teaching material that is available for teaching of Nordic languages as a second or a foreign language, as well as a discussion on the findings of the quality of this material.

The main goal of the project was to focus on how linguistic and cultural diversity is expressed in selected teaching material that is used for teaching Danish and Swedish as a foreign or a second language in the four different project countries, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark and Finland.  The aim was to analyse this material and to gain a better understand of the language and cultural communication that is forwarded with this information. The target groups of the teaching materials can be various and multi-layered, focusing on children and young people with different sets of skills and levels of understanding.

Although the project group faced some difficulties due to Covid-19, they have been able to continue the work and publish an article on the results of their work, Når klodserne falder på plads: Ordforråd ved tekstlæsning – elevernes reaktioner,  in 2021. As a follow-up, a book will be published in 2023.

Learn more about Nordplus Nordic languages